Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson.

Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will begin issuing its deputies Smith & Wesson's M&P9 9mm service pistol as it moves away from Beretta's Model 92 9mm pistol.

The nation's second-largest law enforcement agency signed a five-year contract with S&W for the 13,000 sworn and non-sworn personnel who are issued duty guns, the company announced.

"It is the goal of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to provide our personnel with the highest quality law enforcement equipment available," Sheriff Leroy Baca said in a press release.

The agency will receive "a duty handgun with modern attributes and capabilities critical to enhancing the safety of our sworn personnel and the communities we serve," Baca said.

Agency testers said the M&P pistol provides "high-grade professional features and ability to accommodate individual officer preferences." The agency will begin issuing the M&P9 pistol after the completion of the department's transitional requirements, according to a company release.

Smith & Wesson will also provide armorer classes and transitional training. The M&P9 pistols supplied to the LASD include customizable grip inserts, ambidextrous operating features, and the ability to disassemble the firearm without pulling the trigger.

Composed of over 9,000 sworn deputies and 8,000 professional staff members, the LASD provides law enforcement service to 3 million residents in 43 municipalities.

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